We love to live naturally by exploring the great outdoors, but we also like to eat and drink healthy (most of the time)! Smoothies can be a great addition to any habitual diet, when taken in moderation to prevent excessive (naturally present) sugars being taken in one go. Recommendations for drinking smoothies are similar to fruit juice with no more than 150ml per day to be consumed, to protect your teeth for sugar decay and support a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some great smoothie recipes to try, with information on some of the health benefits of the vitamins and minerals they contain:
Immune Function, vision and skin health: Vitamin A & E & C (E and C are antioxidants)
Spiced orange and carrot smoothie - Orange juice x 125mls, teaspoons sunflower seeds or almonds and ½ carrot grated or diced to help blending, small cube fresh ginger grated – add to your taste
Your immune function is really important for fighting infection and disease from the ‘common cold’ to more serious illness. It’s important to maintain good eye health for good vision, while good skin health gives us confidence and is an important physical barrier to injury. Vitamin A (found in the carrot) is a fat-soluble vitamin that supports growth and development. It is important for maintaining immune function, skin and eye health. Vitamin E (found in the sunflower seeds) is also a fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant, which is important for maintaining immune function, skin and eye health. Vitamin C (found in the orange juice) is a water-soluble vitamin and antioxidant, which is important for maintaining immune function and skin health, while supporting the absorption of iron and wound healing.
Bone Health: Vitamin D, K and Calcium
Pineapple and Kale smoothie - Yoghurt x 2 tablespoons, orange juice x 75 - 100mls, handful kale (roughly chopped), handful frozen pineapple chunks and ½ lime juiced – add water to help blend as needed
(soya or alternative yoghurt with fortified vitamin D & calcium can be substituted)
A great smoothie to support your bone health with vitamin D (found in the yoghurt) is a fat-soluble vitamin normally associated with the sun, which is our best source. It is important in the absorption of calcium to maintain bone health. Vitamin K (found in the kale) is a fat-soluble vitamin which plays a very important role in blood clotting, as well as bone health. Calcium (found in the yoghurt & orange juice) is vital to maintaining good bone and teeth health.
Blood Health: Vitamin K, B12, Iron and Folic Acid (or Folate)
Spinach and Fig smoothie - Handful spinach (roughly chopped), soya or oat milk x 100ml (fortified with Vitamin B12), fresh figs x 2 (chopped), orange juice x 50ml, ½ banana – optional
For vegans and vegetarians, it can be hard to get enough Iron and vitamin B12 (water-soluble vitamin) in the diet as major sources come from animal sources, this recipe helps support blood health with suitable vegan sources. Vitamin K (found in the spinach) is a major blood clotting factor while folic acid (found in the kale and orange juice), vitamin B12 (found in the soya/oat milk) and Iron (found in the spinach and figs) all support healthy red blood cell production and maintenance, preventing anaemia.
Heart Health: Fibre and Omega 3
Berry and Walnut smoothie - porridge oats x 1 tablespoon, apple juice x 125ml, walnuts x 4 halves, soya yoghurt x 1 tablespoon, Frozen berries x handful – add water to help blend as needed
Keeping your heart healthy is achieved by reducing your risk of developing heart related diseases such as stroke, coronary heart disease and heart attacks (myocardial infarction). Eating good sources of Omega 3 (found in the walnuts and soya), one of the essential fatty acids, helps reduce your risk of heart diseases. The fibre (found in the porridge oats, fruit and walnuts) helps to reduce high cholesterol levels and improves your gut health by preventing constipation.
Wound Healing: Vitamin C and Protein
Orange and banana smoothie – orange juice x 125ml, banana x 1, yoghurt x 2 tablespoons
(Soya yoghurts can be substituted in for a source of protein)
If you’ve been out adventuring and come across injury, then vitamin C (found in the orange juice) and protein (found in the yoghurt) are important for supporting wound healing, so give this simple recipe a go and get back to your outdoor lifestyle as soon as possible.